Sometimes the hardest decisions that you have to make are the ones that involve what you are passionate about. In December 2013, I floated the idea of hosted a women’s conference. In April 2014, the inaugural Work Your Package Women’s Conference was held followed by two more in 2015 and 2016. On September 6, 2017, I shared with The Maven Network that the 4th conference would be the last…for awhile. As much as I love producing the Work Your Package Women’s Conference, I realized that while I was capable of saying “no” to others, I struggled with saying “no” to myself. The internal conversation started months ago and I ignored it for as long as I could. The myriad of emotions ran the gambit from disappointment to relief. I questioned myself and my motives for having a conference in the first place. The moment of truth came when I realized that by continuing to produce the conference, I was being a hypocrite to the foundation of Work Your Package by:
- Ignoring the little birdie
- Ignoring the loving advice from my personal board of directors
- Not managing my 168
- Not following through my goals
Why am I sharing this with you? I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Listen, I want to you to pursue your passion. I want you to continue to invest in your personal and professional development. But if it “cost” is too high, make the hard decision and hit the pause button. Remember, you didn’t have to find your passion. It’s been with you all this time. It’s not going to go away. You won’t lose it. Pausing, taking some time to reassess and regroup will not (I repeat…will NOT) be a detriment to your life’s work. I dare say that it’s a bonus. After you have taken time to shift your focus, you will open yourself to new opportunities to share your passion.
You are not your passion but the gifts produced from your passion cannot exist without you. Focus on you first.
Everyone likes to win. I haven’t met a person yet who said, “Oh, I’m fine with not winning.” Everyone wants success. Keep in mind that every one of has a different idea of success. A win for you might look like an absolute failure for someone else. Winning is awesome. Winning causes you to poke your chest out and say, “Hey, look at me! I did it!”.
But what about failure and suffering a setback? Crickets.
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
As miserable as it may feel, even more so if it is public, failure is an incredible teacher:
- It teaches you about yourself. Without failure, you have absolutely no idea how resilient you really are. Give yourself some credit. Take time to write down your “epic” failures and write down the lesson. Trust me, there is a lesson in every single one.
- It shows the true character of those around you. One of my sisterfriends told me, “Listen, I’m with you through the glitter and gutter.” Come hell or high water, she has been there for me. Knowing that I have that type of support bolsters me against disappointment.
One of my favorite authors is Paulo Coelho. He said, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Don’t be so afraid to fail that you kill your dreams in the process. Failure is okay and expected. My expectation of you is to keep moving forward. Why? Because I know you can and will.
Psst! Have you heard? I’m part of a stellar line up of 50 trainers for a webathon on September 22-24, to benefit Vickie Sokol Evans. Visit www.executivesecretary.com\webathon to register and for more information.
An author and radio personality, Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about.” Take a minute a to think about that. When you have pleasant thoughts, typically additional positive and optimistic thoughts follow. Conversely, when you are pessimistic, you tend to have a negative outlook and before you know it, you are stuck in the muck of negativity. InspireYourPeople.com came up with the top 11 thoughts that can get in the way of having a positive outlook and should eliminate from your day:
1. Defeatist (accepting, expecting, or being resigned to defeat)
2. Cynical (contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives)
3. Vindictive (seeking revenge)
4. Blame/Fault (who cares?? what are we going to do now?)
5. Wishful (do what you can to influence the project/situation/deal and keep moving)
6. Self-pity (get over yourself … no excuses … no drama…no complaints…)
7. Worrisome (it won’t help, costs time, and can drag you down)
8. Jealous (want it? earn it)
9. Pre-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have to prepare yourself for the argument that may NEVER happen)
10. Post-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have where you’re quicker than you were in the actual argument)
11. Procrastination (if you’re going to procrastinate, it makes sense to do something fun instead of thinking about how bad it is that you’re procrastinating)
The article goes on the say that eliminating wasteful thoughts might be impossible to avoid but it is completely possible to minimize them and their impact. Here are three ways to do just that:
• Recognize the thoughts when they come up.
• Remind yourself negative thoughts are a costly distraction.
• Redirect your thinking (and/or doing) to something positive.
Challenge yourself to think positive. I’m not saying that life is all peaches and cream but you can control how you respond to the inevitable disappointments of life.
When we face uncertainty, we often try to convince ourselves that we should be confident in our abilities to overcome any obstacle. The problem is depending on the obstacle, your confidence level can take a beating and it can take days, weeks or in the worse case, years to recover. Think about the last time you tried something and failed. How long did it take you to try again? Have you tried again? Courage is something that is deeply rooted in your heart. Courage allows you to have difficult conversations. Courage allows you to stand in your truth. Courage opens the door for you to pursue your passion and try something new. Courage is the pillar of which constant confidence is built. Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, it’s having the courage to do “it” anyway.
I’m super excited about the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! This purposely intimate conference was designed to create a space where attendees could have meaningful and lasting connections with subject matter experts.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing thoughts from the speakers so that you can get to know them better.
Visit www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com for more information.
“It’s not fair!!!” That’s how the argument started when my youngest realized my oldest had more money than she did. Between good grades on her final report card and her birthday, she had a nice piece of change in her purse. My youngest deemed it unfair but couldn’t articulate why and was then rendered speechless when reminded that she too had received money for her good grades as well.
How many times have we looked at someone who is seemingly flawless in their success and make a snarky comment? I would never. Cut the crap. No matter how supportive you are of other women, you have made a least one less than flattering comment about someone who you felt received a larger piece of the “pie”. How did she get promoted? How is she getting so many clients? How she afford to travel so much? Honey, you are asking the wrong questions. The only question you should ask is Why does it bother me? We’ve been taught that in order for someone to win, someone else has to lose and that’s just not true. When you take a minute to think about it, the promotion, clients or airline miles cannot do anything to dull your shine. Zero. Nada. Nunca. Zilch.
Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in what is “not fair” that you forget to be thankful for everything that you do have. A little pang of jealousy is normal but don’t let it consume you. Let it fuel your determination to continue on your journey to being extraordinary.
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t wait until I became an adult. Remember when your only responsibility was doing your homework and maybe some chores on the weekend? Fast forward about 30 years and I realize every single day that being an adult is completely overrated and can be stressful. How I long for the days when school started at 9 in the morning and ended promptly at 3 in the afternoon. I just looked my schedule for the day and all I want to do is roll my eyes. The amount of homework I had as a child is laughable as I look at my desk wondering which task I’m going to tackle first. This isn’t a full-out adult temper tantrum contained within a blog post. I don’t complain without getting closer to a solution or a goal. Do you want to see how I deal with all of this “adulting” without losing my job, family, friends or mind?
Behold the sanity keeper, the conversation starter, the stress reliever, the spontaneous group activity that I bought for my office. This coloring sheet is a glorious 5 feet wide and 4 feet tall and it derails adult temper tantrums, negativity, and tendencies to be cranky. Did you know that adult coloring relieves stress, sparks creativity and encourages mindfulness? The act of coloring requires repetition and attention to detail, so you are able to focus on the activity, not on the meeting that ran over by 30 minutes. Is coloring not your thing? What about going outside and tossing around a football or lace up your sneakers and coordinate a group walk during lunch. Find what works for your office to help you and your fellow co-workers alleviate the stress from all of that “adulting” that we are required to do while on the road to being extraordinary.
I don’t know about you, but I get unexplainable joy from serving others. Helping others reach their goals, break through a mental road block or overcome a challenge makes me Christmas-morning happy. We help others by sharing our gifts and talents. We help others by being authentic and transparent about our struggles and heartbreak.
Have you ever had someone come to you and tell you that because of something you did or said inspired them to pursue a dream? I can tell you from personal experience, it is an amazing feeling. Don’t be selfish with your life experiences. You never who it will encourage or inspire.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been recording Facebook Live videos. I didn’t set out to do them with any frequency but alas, there is more than one. Have you seen them? If not, you are in luck, here are the links and topics I covered.
Who Is Surrounding You?
Cut It Out With Self-Imposed Restrictions
Stop Existing and Start Living
You Don’t Need Saving
I would love to hear your thoughts on the videos and hear what topics you would like for me to cover next.
Self-imposed restrictions and limitations can be great for setting a basic guideline like eating healthy or exercising. But when you limit yourself because you doubt how awesome you are or what others may say, you are blocking yourself from doing something extraordinary. Be willing to go where you are uncomfortable. Be willing to start the conversation. Be willing to volunteer for that project that no one else wants. Be willing to see the opportunity in the midst of challenge. Be willing to live instead of just existing. Be willing to be extraordinary.